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Activities that MATTER
I am currently putting together a lesson plan that will introduce fifth graders about matter. We will be learning about the 3 states of matter and the reasons why matter can change it's physical form. What fun and safe activities, or investigations, can display chemical and physical changes in the classroom?
900 Activity Points
Hi Jordan. A safe bet is to always use nontoxic easily obtained materials for a highly visual effect. Here's a good link for starters http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/08/14/3824231.htm
Another one I do is brine rejection where I create a frozen salt water solution (you can even make seawater by adding the proper amount of salt) and compare with ice. Have the students put fresh water in one paper cup and saltwater in another. Freeze. Then have the students put the ice cubes in a bowl and put a drop of food coloring on the ice cubes. The saltwater ice will have pores in the ice and the food coloring will go straight through because of the exothermic reaction with the salt and ice. The freshwater ice will have no coloring go through. It will stay on the outside. My kids always liked this experiment. It's cheap and dramatic!
93920 Activity Points
I love the ice idea, James! Thanks for sharing a fun and inexpensive way to demonstrate!
I also found these two sources for other ideas, if you are interested. The first is an archived Web Seminar from the American Chemical Society with strategies for teaching about physical and chemical changes, check it out here:
There was also this article with some ideas as well. I'm not sure they are all classroom practical, but I would love to hear what you think:
Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
7837 Activity Points
I really like this activity.... as part of the 5E lesson planning, I could definitely use this as an ENGAGING activity where i would ask the students to possible provide explanations for this.
Felicia Wright- Moss
475 Activity Points
Thanks so much for the great ideas, James! That experiment sounds like a lot of fun!
Thanks so much, Megan! You all gave me such great resources, I'm wondering how to fit all of these great ideas in my lessons now!
900 Activity Points
Thanks, Megan! The ACS is a tremendous resource! Thanks for the suggestions! I'll check out the links a little later. Just got home from school.
Check out ACS website for middle school. I've used the activities for 5th up to 10th grade! http://middleschoolchemistry.com/
1595 Activity Points
Thank you so much, Chris! The website is very helpful and has a lot of ideas!
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